First, remember that you must stop at a check station if you have been hunting, fishing or trapping…whether you have harvested or not. Usually you will see a sign like this.
There are two types of check stations in Idaho, management and enforcement. However, sometimes they are combined. The idea is to collect data on harvested animals, to get feedback from hunters and anglers on how the season is going and what they are seeing out there. And finally to make sure the public is complying with hunting, fishing and trapping regulations.
“We want to look at the health of the animals,” said Fish and Game wildlife biologist Michelle Commons Kemner. “We want to hear what hunters are seeing so we have a better understanding of what’s out there. Are we managing this population well? This helps us understand that. We also want to look at the age of the animals. And we are doing some disease type sampling.”
As in the past, Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) samples will be taken at check stations, but the revised CWD surveillance plan has more intensive testing in certain hunting units each year and sampling will rotate to new units annually. For the 2017 hunting season, the intensive sampling units will be in eastern Idaho and the west central parts of the state. This allows Fish and Game to sample a sufficient number of mule deer to detect the disease in the targeted populations rather than an overall statewide sampling effort. Game management units being sampled in west central Idaho include 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 32A, 39, 43, 44, 45, 48 and 52. In eastern Idaho, the game management units are 60, 60A, 61, 62, 62A, 64, 65, 66, 66A, 67, 69, 72 and 76.
A pilot program is in place at some check stations where hunters may also complete their harvest report if a deer or elk has been harvested or if the hunter is done hunting for the season. Fish and Game hopes to expand this in the future.
So, still want to know more about checks stations? Watch these videos.